Rejuvenated Harrogate pub wins top awards

Winner - The Tap pub in Tower Street in Harrogate.
Winner - The Tap pub in Tower Street in Harrogate.

A relaunched Harrogate pub run by a dynamic couple has won a string of new awards at a UK level.

Famed for its 350 board games and extensive range of gins, rums, tequilas and mezcals, not to mention a full range of craft beers and local cask ales, The Tap and Tower Street has proven hugely popular since it changed hands, was refurbished and reopened less than two years ago.

The Tap in Harrogate''s Rob and Alison Thompson collecting their award from Ei Groups chief executive Simon Townsend.

The Tap in Harrogate''s Rob and Alison Thompson collecting their award from Ei Groups chief executive Simon Townsend.

Ei Group, the UK’s largest owner and operator of community pubs, this week announced The Tap as Pub of the Year at its annual Awards for Excellence, the top award alongside two others – Best Multiple Operator and Best Drinks Offer.

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The awards recognised the vital role the pub, which also boasts two outside areas, with beach huts, braziers and outside pizza, plays in its local community, and the passion for the business demonstrated by Rob and Alison Thompson, who operate seven pubs through their company, Appetite for Life.

The couple impressed the judges with their efficient operating processes and exceptionally high standards.

Judges praised The Tap on Tower Street for its welcoming and relaxed atmosphere, knowledgeable staff and an eclectic drinks range of over 60 gins, 30 rums and 20 tequilas and mezcals alongside a wide selection of craft beers and home-made non-alcoholic cordials.

Ei Group chief executive Simon Townsend said: “The Tap on Tower Street is an example of the best of the best; a great all-rounder, with operators who show sheer passion for their pub, as well as the industry.
"What Rob and Alison Thompson have achieved at The Tap on Tower Street is nothing short of remarkable, transforming it to the modern community pub it is today.”

The Awards for Excellence recognise and celebrate the achievements of the very best publicans across the Group, which operates some 4,400 pubs in England and Wales.
All winners have demonstrated operational excellence and outstanding commitment to running fantastic pubs at the heart of their communities.

Each pub faced scrutiny from a judging panel made up of industry experts and senior figures before site visits were conducted by pub expert Phil Dixon.
Finalists were invited to attend a gala awards ceremony at the Old Thorns Hotel in Hampshire last night (2 July) where the winners were announced.

Townsend added: “The standard of entries to our awards this year was exceptionally high with so many of our publicans going the extra mile to make a real difference in their communities.
"We are delighted that these awards provide us the opportunity to shine a light on some of the passion and energy that our publicans put into running their businesses and reward them for their efforts.”

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